[ Master Post ]
Title: Adventures in Cuisine Via Hawke: The Delights of Orlais (1/6)
Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Anton Hawke ♂, Fenris ♂
Rating: G- (L1 N1 S0 V0 D0)
Warnings: Shirtless elf, who in Thedas doesn’t like chocolate!?
Notes: Anton Hawke has a habit of bribing Fenris with apple tarts. But, what came before the tarts?
[ Master Post ]
Anton Hawke had a plan. It was a questionable one, certainly, but one he was relatively sure would succeed. He needed a sword at his back, and one that wasn’t attached to a do-good guardswoman or his whiny little brother — and his whiny older brother knew just the elf. But, he couldn’t just depend on Artemis to make this work, as depending on Artemis had a tendency to end in a holding pattern of spotless floors and neatly arranged bottles. No, this time, he’d be counting on himself.
You couldn’t go wrong with a little bribery, he’d found, and what better to bring to someone who apparently led a life of persistent deprivation than fine Orlesian chocolate? A touch of the very best was usually enough to turn heads, and if he could keep Fenris’s attention long enough, he was fairly sure he could sell the idea of a run up the coast. Sure, he could take Aveline. They were smugglers. But, he had some intentions toward the goods being hauled, and Aveline wouldn’t stand for it.
Stopping at the chocolatier, on his way across Hightown, Anton selected a few dark truffles, dusted in cocoa and with sprigs of mint pressed into the tops. The box cost him a few silver, which was steep, but the take on this job would run enough to make it worth the price of the bribe. He patted himself down a few more times, on the way to Fenris’s door, ensuring that if anything went wrong, he’d make it out in no more than two pieces.
There was no answer the first time Anton knocked, and he wondered, at first, if he had come to the wrong decrepit house. Or if Fenris had decided to squat somewhere else, possibly somewhere with fewer corpses. He knocked again, and this time the door opened on the cranky elf of the hour. Fenris, it seemed, hadn’t bothered with a shirt but had bothered with a sword.
"What." His tone made the word more of an accusation than a question. Fenris squinted at Anton and the box in his hand. "You’re one of the Hawkes, aren’t you? Anton, was it? Thank your brother for organising the wine bottles in the cellar. They’re much easier to find now."
"Wait until he starts organising your underwear," Anton said wryly.
Fenris blinked at the Hawke in his doorway. "I don’t have any."
And that was more than Anton needed to know. Or picture. "Right. Then you’re safe from that particular threat. Anyway." He held up the box. "I come bearing chocolates!"
"Chocolates…" Fenris tried his best not to look as confused as he was. That was not a word he was familiar with, but damned if he was going to let this Southern barbarian know that. "Why are you here, exactly? If it is to deliver these chocolates, you are already more than halfway to the point, are you not? If it is some other reason, I suggest you get to the point, and swiftly."
"I’ve come to discuss business! And, as is traditional, I have brought a light snack. One should never assume someone else has eaten enough to engage in negotiations properly. And while these aren’t much, they’ll definitely calm the nerves and clear the head." Anton removed the lid of the box to reveal two rows of brown spheres, each about the size of a silver piece, with green leaves pressed artfully over the tops. "The finest Orlesian chocolate — or at least the finest available in Kirkwall. Come, let us indulge, and I will share with you my plans to profit us both."
"You have brought me something to eat." Fenris considered the round, leafy objects. "If we are to do business, you will first prove to me that these are not poisoned or drugged. I have no cause to place faith in mercenaries bearing gifts."
Anton opened his mouth and waited, still holding out the box. Fenris wondered if hand-feeding was part of traditional business negotiations in Ferelden, but he wasn’t about to ask. He selected a chocolate from the corner of the box and held it out. With a huff, Anton leaned forward over the box and took the chocolate between his teeth, making a show of chewing, swallowing, and sticking out his tongue for Fenris to see.
"There," Anton said. "Not poisoned. Or would you like me to test them all?"
Fenris answered by reaching for another chocolate in the box, this one closer to the middle. He held it up in front of him, inspecting the decorative leaf, the texture. He pressed in with thumb and forefinger until a crack ran along its middle, and finally he popped it into his mouth.
"They’re Orlesian," Anton reminded him proudly, but his smug smile slipped as he watched Fenris’s face, which twisted, scrunching in on itself. Fenris paused mid-chew, and from the assessing look Fenris was giving him, Anton could tell he was trying to find a polite way to spit it out. "No good?"
Seriously? Who in Thedas didn’t like chocolate?
Fenris finally swallowed, lip curled in displeasure. "That tasted like dirt," he said. "I need to wash the taste out with wine."
He shut the door in Anton’s face.